Four Steps to Composted, Organic Fertilizer for the Garden

Paint and Bay horses shown

Barbi and Buck, 2012

Organic Fertilizer for my garden comes from these two!

Horse manure is the fertilizer of choice for our gardens for three reasons:  1) it’s organic, 2) it’s readily available, and 3) it contains undigested forage (grasses and hay) so it also “softens” the soil for the plant roots.

These horses receive ample turnout and high quality hay plus a high quality supplement that is designed for high digestibility (grain fed in winter only if there’s not enough pasture grass) and periodic de-worming. As a consequence, the manure has consistent texture and composition from year to year. (Furthermore, we have never had any plants burned from this composted manure.)

Four Steps for Composting Horse Manure

1) Add collected manure to the “pile” over the course of the year.

2) turn pile with each addition (usually about 2 or 3 times a year)

3) Cover with a tarp during dry seasons to keep some moisture in the pile (not wet, just moist)

4) Add to the Spring garden (use a hand tiller, or tractor disc and rake)


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